A couple of weekends ago, I pushed my body a little past my limits in intense yoga classes and landscaping endeavors. By the time I got to Rancho La Puerta on Wednesday, my body was in dire need of a refresh. I decided a Ranch Classic massage at the Women’s Health Center was just what I needed. You can never go wrong with classic.
I got there early and was glad to have time to do a quick sauna and steam before the treatment. It’s a good idea to do one or both before a massage, as the heat can help open blood vessels and loosen muscles, which perfectly primes them for manipulation. My muscles were feeling tight, and I could tell my back was going to go out soon. I wanted to feel as relaxed and relieved as possible.
I entered the cozy treatment room already feeling calm. My body immediately started swaying to the peaceful classical music playing. The treatment began with aromatherapy, like most Rancho La Puerta massages do. As it was relatively early in the day still, I chose lemongrass as my scent for this treatment because its aromatic profile is refreshing, invigorating, and uplifting. I drink lemon water each morning to start the day, so it seemed like a great way to reset, which is exactly what I was looking for.
Nora, my practitioner, started with my feet. She used the tempo of the piano playing in the background to pace her movements. The pressure was perfect, and she even massaged in between my toes. After being on them for prolonged periods, my tootsies sure needed it. Next, she used long, strong strokes to massage my calves and thighs. No muscle was ignored from my glutes to my heels. She even bent my leg at my knee so she could approach the same muscles from different angles. Bending my leg made me tense up at first, but Nora reminded me to relax by subtly shaking my ankle. Once I let go, I could feel each leg get lighter as tension was released and then heavier as they relaxed.
We moved on to my arms and back next. Like with my legs, Nora held each of my hands and shook my arms gently at the wrists to get them to relax before she began kneading. She kneaded, I needed. I had no idea my arms were so sore until she started massaging them. She had to spend extra time in between my shoulder blades given all the tension I was holding there. It was such a relief to feel it literally melt away.
When the front was finished, I flipped over onto my back. Nora briefly massaged my feet, calves, and thighs again, before stepping away from the table momentarily. She came back with warm towels to place on my feet. I could sense the steam coming off them and realized what she was doing right before the towels hit my feet; I wasn’t expecting that, and it was the most pleasant surprise. She also offered me a cool chamomile cloth to place over my eyes, which of course I accepted. The juxtaposition of heat on my feet and coolness on my eyes was a beautiful, relaxing thing.
Nora worked on my arms, shoulders, neck, and upper back again, this time with me on my back. I appreciated the extra time she spent on my neck on this side. She gently supported my head while turning it side to side so that she could reach every muscle from every angle.
Finally, the towels and eye cover were removed. It was like lifting a veil to a whole new me. I really loved the attention to detail and atmosphere for this massage. Nora’s consistent pressure and firm touch were exactly what I needed. I could feel the spring in my step as I walked out of the building.
If you’re looking for a refresh, one thing is for sure, (Ranch) Classic never goes out of style!